IAWG 61 Percent Statistic – One Pager

In October 2016, Helena Nordenstedt and Hans Rosling published a Comment in The Lancet, titled Chasing 60% of maternal deaths in the post-fact era, that points out an inaccurate and widely used statistic on maternal mortality in humanitarian settings. They primarily take issue with the incorrect assertion that 60% of preventable maternal deaths take place in settings of conflict, displacement, and natural disasters. They conclude that the calculation represents a “fourfold inaccuracy”, tweaked for advocacy purposes, which effectively overshadows the fact that most maternal deaths occur in extreme poverty. The authors appropriately take issue with the conflation of humanitarian settings and fragile states. However, the IAWG wishes to emphasize that the meaning and significance of this data, when represented correctly, remains.

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